Jun 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicles cost more to buy, but less to own

Reproduced from Energy.gov; Chart: Axios Visuals

Electric cars are still more expensive to purchase than gasoline models, but they're considerably cheaper to maintain.

What they're saying: Maintenance costs for a battery-electric vehicle are 6.1 cents per mile, compared to 10.1 cents per mile for a conventional car with an internal combustion engine, according to research from the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

  • That's because an EV doesn't have things like spark plugs, an oil filter or a timing belt — and all the maintenance costs associated with them.
  • EVs have fewer moving parts overall, so there's less to break down.

Yes, but: They still have brakes, tires and accessories like headlights and windshield wipers that need to be replaced occasionally.

The bottom line: When you factor in savings on gas and maintenance over the life of the car, an EV doesn't cost that much more than a gasoline car.

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